There was a time when we governed by the cycle of the day and night, the months, the seasons. We worked whilst it was daylight and rested in darkness. We sowed in the spring and harvested in the autumn. We fed the crops in summer and let the fields rest in winter. Everything had it’s time for growth and it’s time for sleep.
And then something happened. The industrial age came to town. Suddenly there was an opportunity for new technologies, to learn new skills and to earn a set wage. Suddenly it didn’t matter whether the crops failed or whether they were good enough to sell to make a living. Suddenly you could guarantee a wage each week to cover your bills without the worry and stress of anticipating and dealing with nature – what nirvana!
And at that time we started exchanging an hour of our time for a set amount of money; not set by ourselves, but the owners of the business we worked in. They dictated what we were worth. If we wanted to be worth more, we had to work more. The more hours we worked, the more we got paid and the better off our families would be. The better off our families were, the higher our standing in society.
In this time fantastic new inventions were created. Mechanised processes were devised that could work faster and more accurately than their human counterparts without the need for food or rest. And so the 24/7 work culture began.
Fast forward 200 years and we’re still working and living in the same way and it’s killing us.
We’ve ignored our basic human body needs for so long we’ve almost forgotten what they are. We push through exhaustion, battle through illness and survive on heavily processed ‘quick fix’ food to keep us upright.
We are more tired, more stressed, more anxious, suffering more long-term illnesses, less happy and less fertile than we were 40 years ago and to top that off, the gender pay gap is bigger now than it was 20 years ago….so what’s gone wrong?
Well, for a start, we still think in terms of our Industrial Age heritage. We still base our self-worth on how productive we are, how many hours we work, how busy we are. ‘Busy’ has become a badge of honour and an automatic reply to the question ‘How are you?’
In the 21st century we have access to so much amazing technology, there is so much help and support and alternative ways of thinking, being, doing and having, and yet we still focus on the same paradigm our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did. I think it’s time to change.
Now, I get you may not be in a situation where you can suddenly work flexible hours, or jack it all in to take a break, or do without as much money as you earn right now and I’m not about to suggest you do (although you may want to speak with your Manager or HR if you’re being pressured into working overtime – with or without pay…)
I am, however going to suggest you change your vocabulary around your work and life. That small change will get your mind thinking differently and once that starts to happen, you may well see opportunities to take 21st thinking further.
Here are some ideas for you to try so you can shift your thinking from 18th century to 21st century
* Instead of automatically replying ‘Busy’ or ‘Fine’ to the ‘How are you?’ question, try saying something really upbeat and positive. Something like ‘I’m great! Thank you for asking’ or ‘I’m doing really well, how are you?’ Find something that works for you
* Instead of saying or thinking that you ‘Need’ to get loads done or wondering how you’ll fit everything in, try saying (or thinking) ‘Right now I choose to focus on……’
* If someone asks you to help out and you don’t have time, instead of saying ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I don’t have time’ simply say ‘Thank you for thinking of me but I’m not going to be able to help this time, but maybe you could ask…..?’ No need to justify yourself or make excuses, oh and leave the guilt behind too!
* If you’re feeling overly pressured and stressed because you’re finding it hard to keep going – ask for support. There is no shame in admitting you need a bit of help and you’ll be amazed at how most people will want to help you out; especially as they’ll probably need you to help them at some point too. A simple ‘I’m focussing on X right now so it’d be really helpful if you could do Y. Thank you so much’
One last point to make….the world will not, I repeat WILL NOT stop turning if you slow down a bit. No-one will starve, no-one will die, no-one will be plunged into hardship if you choose to focus on your needs for a while…..but you will continue to suffer if you don’t.
Let me know how you get on and if I can be of further help
If you need some help with any of the subjects I talk about, let me know and we can have a conversation; I may be able to give you a quick tip or two to get you on the right track!
If you’re interested in starting your own journey into your Midlife Miracle, my ‘Re-Claim Your Power’ online course + support is now available. For more info and to enrol click here
Have a fabulous week!
With love & respect